Welcome to part 3 of our series about the recent evolution of Darwin Brewing in Bradenton, Florida. Opened in 2012, Darwin Brewing Company has deep roots in the Bradenton/Sarasota community, as well as the state of Florida. They felt that it was not enough to just simply exist within the community but aim to give back and be part of it. Darwin Brewing searched for ways to utilize their products in order to do good for the local area and beyond. This search led them to Mote Marine.
Mote Marine is an independent, nonprofit marine research institution in Sarasota, Florida comprised of scientists, explorers, and stewards of the ocean working to create a better environment for ourselves and our children. They believe that the conservation and sustainable use of our oceans begins with research and education. So, how does Darwin Brewing team up with a marine research institution in order to give back? Simple, create beer to sell and donate the money from the sales to Mote Marine. Well, maybe not that simple. Darwin Brewing needed to stick to what they believe and that is serving and delivering the highest quality beers possible. Beers that everyone can enjoy when creating this beer, so that way they could maximize sales and the donation back to Mote Marine. After a little trial and error Darwin Brewing settled on two beers, a Lager, and a Session IPA.
Reef Revival Session IPA and Leatherback Lager were born. Both are crisp, light, refreshing beers that can be enjoyed any time of year. The names were chosen because a large focus in Mote Marine’s research programs is on understanding the population dynamics of sea turtles and coral reefs plus the conservation and restoration efforts related to these species and ecosystems. So, the relationship with Mote Marine was set, the beers were created, now Darwin Brewing needed to maximize the sales of these brands. This is where Winn Dixie (Southeastern Grocers) stepped in.
Winn Dixie was looking for an opportunity to have proprietary craft brands in their stores. Darwin Brewing company was selected because they had two beers ready to go, they had statewide distribution, and Darwin Brewing had done something similar with the former Lucky’s Market in the past. With all the pieces in place the beer went into production and started hitting Winn Dixie stores statewide at the beginning of 2020. Darwin Brewing Company, Winn Dixie, and Gold Coast Eagle Distributing committed to donating 25 cents of every six pack of these two brands sold for the cleanup, restoration of waterways, and restoring our reefs at Mote Marine. Earlier this year just over $3,000 was donated to Mote Marine from the sales of Reef Revival Session IPA and Leatherback Lager in 2020. Darwin Brewing Company and Winn Dixie have continued this program in 2021. You can find Reef Revival Session IPA and Leatherback Lager at your local Winn Dixie store, or at the Darwin Brewing Company taproom located at 803 17th Avenue West Bradenton, FL 34205.